Kid gloves makes Clyde pay the penalty

Kevin Smith pulls East Fife level in the 85th minute of the game.
Kevin Smith pulls East Fife level in the 85th minute of the game.

When 19-year-old Dylan Rooney woke up on Saturday morning it’s doubtful if he had any idea how his afternoon would pan out.

The young goalkeeper, who has made just one appearance for the club’s reserve side let alone be anywhere near the first team, was East Fife’s penalty shoot-out hero as his three saves, before Fraser McGhee’s eventual miss, sent the Methil men into Wednesday’s play-off final first leg.

Had McGhee scored his penalty then Rooney would have been up next to take one for the Fifers.

And that wouldn’t have been the end of his story, with the confident ‘keeper telling the East Fife Mail after the game he was planning to chip his effort down the middle!

The Fifers had ended the first leg tie a goal down, but finished that game with a real purpose and intent.

They picked up on Saturday where they had left off on Wednesday and parity was restored when Scott McBride headed home a Stephen Hughes free-kick.

But that was only the beginning of the drama.

Next came a head injury to ‘keeper Greg Paterson which saw him spend a lengthy time getting treatment.

Paterson returned to the park but was powerless to stop Scott Ferguson pulling Clyde level and ahead again in the tie.

East Fife were heading for League Two as the result stood and as the clock ticked down, and the fewer chances they seemed to be able to create, that looked like their destiny.

That was until the final five minutes when a hooked cross from Steven Campbell was knocked down by McBride into the path of Kevin Smith who composed himself before beating Jamie Barclay.

Bayview went ballistic as the Fifers had saved their skin - just.

With so much at stake, the 30 minutes of extra time proved to be a nervy affair with neither side pushing for the winner and leaving themselves prone to being caught at the back.

So it came down to the shoot-out.

East Fife’s safety would be decided from the 12 yard mark.

To their credit, both sets of players kept their nerve with a series of decent strikes.

The missed penalties were mainly efforts which were matched by the ‘keeper.

Rooney had already saved from Ferguson before East Fife misses handed chances to Stefan McLuskey and Michael Daly to win the tie for Clyde.

Remarkably debutant Rooney saved both.

Stephen Hughes netted for the Fifers meaning the pressure was on McGhee.

He put his strike past the post to put the Fifers through 7-6 on penalties.